Fuglsang unhappy with non-selection for RadioShack’s Tour de France squad
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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fuglsang unhappy with non-selection for RadioShack’s Tour de France squad

by VeloNation Press at 5:12 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
“It does not take a genius to see that the team is not running as it should.”

While Chris Horner celebrates his call-up yesterday to the Tour de France team, Jakob Fuglsang is experiencing the opposite emotions today after being told that he will not be taking part in this year’s event.

Fuglsang is one of the RadioShack Nissan team’s most successful riders this year. The team has clocked up just three wins, and aside from the two registered by Fabian Cancellara, the Dane is the only other rider to stand on the top step of the podium. He won the Tour of Luxembourg just over two weeks ago, a crucial race for the squad as it is in its home country, and expected to be selected for the Tour.

Yesterday brought confirmation that he wasn’t. Asked by Sporten.dk why he was not taking part, he said that he was mystified. “Why? I think I'd rather you call Johan Bruyneel about that. I do not know,” he said.

“I was told by Kim Andersen, but he could not tell me why. The sport directors had a conference call, and there they were told, but there was no further explanation and justification.”

Fuglsang was original scheduled to lead the team in the Giro d’Italia, but had to withdraw prior to the start due to knee injury. Frank Schleck was called up at short notice and took his place. The Dane instead refocused on riding the Tour and, having worked to get into good condition for that, now finds himself off the squad.

“Of course I'm disappointed with it and I think I should have a place on the team,” he said. “If you look at my form and my results, I cannot see that there are nine riders who are better. It’s not because of my condition or that the results have not been there; I feel in good shape and I think I have also shown some good results in the Tour of Luxembourg and the Tour of Switzerland.”

He was tenth in the prologue of the latter, then clicked into a supporting role for Frank Schleck, who ended up second overall. He would have been prepared to do the same again in France but instead doesn’t know what he will do after the Danish championships.

One possible reason for Fuglsang’s absence is that he spoke about potentially moving on from the team; there is a chance that Bruyneel or chief sponsor Flavio Becca was not happy about this. However slotting Horner into the squad after he was left out of the provisional shortlist also takes up a place, and it may simply have come to a choice of one over another.

Still, as Fuglsang states, it’s hard to believe that all nine on the team are better than him. In addition to Schleck and Horner, RadioShack Nissan will also field Fabian Cancellara, Tony Gallopin, Andreas Klöden, Maxime Monfort, Yaroslav Popovych, Jens Voigt and Haimar Zubeldia.

Interestingly, while the RadioShack company’s spokesman Eric S. Bruner told VeloNation recently that sponsors ‘don’t control the selection process,’ a tweet by Trek President John Burke may suggests that he had an input.

“Chirs [sic] Horner makes the TDF team. Congratulations Chris!!...... I voted for you.”

Whatever the reasoning, though, Fuglsang feels frustrated. “There is more than what appears in the press,” he said about the general difficulties facing the squad this year. “We see only the tip of the iceberg. It does not take a genius to see that it is not running as it should.”

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